Walking History

Welcome to the Walking History series, where we explore the history around us by actually walking it. In each episode I visit the site of a famous historic event, discuss its history and describe what it's like to visit there today. Walking History helps bring the past to life, especially if you're too far away to visit for yourself, and provides a powerful perspective that you can't get by just reading through the pages of a history book. Stick around (or jump ahead!) to the end of each episode to listen to what it's like to visit these locations today so you can plan your own trip.

**JUST RELEASED**

Leesburg, VA with
Loudoun Museum Executive Director Joe Rizzo

Join Joe Rizzo, the Executive Director of Loudoun Museum, for an in-depth discussion of the history of Leesburg, Virginia, a town almost 300 years old, and all the important events that took place here. Joe once and for all settles the question of whether or not Leesburg was the capital of the US during the War of 1812, who it was named after, discusses the incredibly significant visit of the Marquis de Lafayette in 1825, and much more. After our discussion I visit the locations Joe and I talked about and tell you which ones are the best to visit during your tour of this quintessentially historic American town.
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Want to jump ahead in the episode?

Interview Begins: 2:00
Lafayette's Visit: 10:15
Loudoun Museum: 27:25
Touring Leesburg, VA Today: 33:00

It was a real pleasure speaking to Joe Rizzo, and he gives a truly deep history of the town, from it's roots in the early 1700s to modern times. He discusses why it was created where it stands today, who the town was actually named after, the influence of Nicholas Minor on the creation of the town, the controversy over whether or not it was considered the capital of the US during the burning of Washington in 1814, the Marquis de Lafayette's famous visit in 1825, the divisions, military engagements and battles that took place here during the Civil War, and much more.

Interested in touring Leesburg with an eye towards its history? After the interview I visit some of the most interesting places Joe and I talked about and tell you what you can expect to find when you go there today, including walking the exact route the Marquis de Lafayette (with James Monroe and John Quincy Adams in tow!) took to the adoration of 10,000 onlookers, Civil War sites, and visit some famous gravesites for all you haunted tours fans out there. I also talk about some of the other great historic sites Leesburg and the surrounding Loudoun County have to offer, including the Marshall House, Morven Park, and of course Joe's own Loudoun Museum, a  wonderfully curated museum dedicated to local history that I can't recommend highly enough. 

Interested in getting access to the full, unedited video interview from this episode, and more? Go to the 
Exclusive Content tab to find out how. 


Useful Links:


Loudoun Museum
The History of Leesburg & Visiting Today - VisitLoudoun
Historians On Tap

Historic Leesburg Walking Tours
 
April 19, 2021

The Battle of Yorktown

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In honor of Independence Day we visit the Battle of Yorktown, the final and most important battle of the Revolutionary War which resulted in American independence from Great Britain. This episode does a deep dive into the battle, discussing its background, the chess game that Washington was playing with the British, and the battle itself. Finally, we end by discussing what it’s like to visit this incredible battlefield today.
May 26, 2021

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" Speech

 
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Dive into the history and words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have A Dream” speech, which he gave on August 28, 1963 in front of a crowd of 250,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  Stick around to the end of the episode to discover what it’s like to visit the location of this incredible moment in American history today.
April 19, 2021

The National Mall in Washington, DC

 

In this episode of Walking History we visit and discuss the detailed history of the National Mall in Washington, DC, one of the most iconic and historic spaces in America. We also look at the best ways to visit this incredible tourist attraction today.

March 28, 2021

The Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg)

 
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In this episode of Walking History we visit The Battle of Antietam, also known as The Battle of Sharpsburg, one of the most consequential battles of the American Civil War and the single bloodiest day in American history. We also take a look at what it’s like to visit this extremely well-preserved battlefield today.  

Feb. 27, 2021
 
Feb. 27, 2021

John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry

The mural painting Tragic Prelude, featuring abolitionist John Brown, for The Educator Podcast: Walking History series episode John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry
The mural painting Tragic Prelude, featuring abolitionist John Brown, for The Educator Podcast: Walking History series episode John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry

In this episode of Walking History we talk about John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry, one of the most unique and bewildering events in American history, and one of the main catalysts for the Civil War which would start just a year and a half later. We also take a look at what it’s like to visit this well-traveled historic town today. 

In this episode of Walking History we talk about John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry, one of the most unique and bewildering events in American history, and one of the main catalysts for the Civil War which would start just a year and a half later. We also take a look at what it’s like to visit this well-traveled historic town today. 

 

The First Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas)

Jan. 28, 2021
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In this episode of Walking History we talk about the First Battle of Bull Run, also known as the First Battle of Manassas, the first major battle of the Civil War, and what it's like to visit there today. In one afternoon a nation was changed forever, and this landmark event features some of the most unbelievable and absurd stories in US history.

The Battle of Ball's Bluff

 
Jan. 6, 2021

In this episode of Walking History we talk about the Battle of Ball's Bluff, a unique and often overlooked battle early in the Civil War that shook the North and saw the only battlefield death of a sitting Senator in US history, and what it's like to visit the battlefield today.